May 31

The show of support I witnessed yesterday from law enforcement and the community at the funeral for Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was incredibly moving. I was reminded, once again, how proud I am of our law enforcement family. Officers from across Kentucky and the nation were among the estimated 2,000 people who turned out to pay their respects to Officer Ellis and provide a shoulder to lean on for the slain officer's family. My prayers are with Ellis' wife and children who are trying to make sense of this senseless act of violence.

I was pleased to join First Lady Jane Beshear, Senate President Robert Stivers and Representative John Tilley at the Recovery Kentucky Task Force Ceremony at the Capitol to announce grants for two Recovery Kentucky centers. Walmart presented $20,000 to help fund programs at Trilogy Inc. in Hopkinsville and Cumberland Hope in Evarts.

We are making progress in the fight against prescription drug abuse in Kentucky, but we must do more. We must expand treatment options available to those who want to turn their lives around. There are about 2,400 treatment beds in Kentucky, but a recent SAMSHA survey shows there are 280,000 Kentuckians who need alcohol and/or drug treatment. Only about 31,000 of those 280,000 people are currently getting help.

I've sued the makers of OxyContin for allegedly creating an epidemic of prescription drug abuse and for misleading the public about the addictive nature of this powerful painkiller. If we are successful, I'll use money from the lawsuit to expand treatment opportunities in Kentucky.

Backed by 23 of my colleagues, I have again called on Urban Outfitters to stop selling its "Prescription Line" of products. These are pint glasses, shot glasses and flasks that mimic prescription pill bottles. These products make light of an epidemic that kills more than 1,000 Kentuckians each year.

My colleagues and I recently sent a letter to Urban Outfitters CEO & Chairman Richard Hayne. We've urged him to remove these products from store shelves and join with us to fight prescription drug abuse. For more information, please see our press release.

I had a great evening attending and speaking at the Shelby County Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Wednesday night. There was wonderful fellowship with fellow Democrats. I am excited about the future of the Democratic Party in Kentucky.

Today, more than 250 volunteers came together, in partnership with Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and KaBoom, to construct a playground to serve at-risk and previously homeless children at St. Vincent de Paul in Louisville. It was an honor to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony for this wonderful new playground and to witness folks coming together to make our community a better place for kids in need.

Finally, my Cybercrimes Unit celebrates its 5th anniversary next week. I am looking forward to sharing some exciting news about our many accomplishments over the past five years.